Healthy for All Holiday Meals

By Pamela Stern

Spring Creek Towers’ resident who is also a Registered Dietitian, Susan Juray would like to share with residents a homemade recipe that is not only nutritious and healthy but, will be delectable to serve along with your holiday meal.

Juray’s Lentil & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie, has an array of nutritional benefits including:

• Sweet Potatoes which are high in Vitamin A and C

• Lentils are an excellent source of B Vitamins, Iron, Magnesium, and Zinc

• Both provide a great source of soluble fiber. Soluble Fiber forms a thick, jelly-like substance, which helps bind dietary cholesterol from foods you’re eating, which may lower cholesterol levels.

This is a colorful take on a classic shepherd’s pie, using lentils, vegetables, and a fluffy sweet potato topping. You will fall in love with this hearty and versatile low calorie, low fat, high protein and fiber plant-based meal for the upcoming holidays!” said Juray.

Lentil & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie: Yields 9 Servings

Ingredients:

Sweet Potato Topping:

– 3 large sweet potatoes, chopped

– 2 Tablespoons olive oil

– 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Filling:

– 1 Tablespoon olive oil

– 1 medium onion, diced

– 2 cloves garlic, minced

– 1.5 cups uncooked green lentils, rinsed

– 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock

– 2 teaspoons fresh thyme

– 1, 10-ounce bag of frozen mixed veggies: peas, carrots, green beans, lima beans, and corn

Mushroom layer:

– 2 whole Portobello mushrooms, stems removed and sliced

– 4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

– 1 Tablespoon olive oil

– Pinch of sea salt and black pepper

– 1 clove garlic, minced

Directions:

– Bring sweet potatoes to a boil over high heat. Then, reduce to medium-high heat and cook for 15-20 minutes or until they slide off of a knife easily.

– Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and lightly grease baking dish.

– Drain, transfer to mixing bowl and mash with fork. Add oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

– Add Portobello mushrooms to a shallow dish, and top with balsamic vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Toss to combine and let marinate for 5 minutes.

– Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil, onions, and garlic and sauté until lightly browned and caramelized; about 4-5 minutes.

– Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Then add lentils, vegetable broth, and thyme and stir. Bring to a low boil. Then reduce heat to simmer. Continue cooking until lentils are tender (20-30 minutes).

– While lentils cook, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil and the mushrooms with their marinade. Spread into an even layer and cook on one side for 2-3 minutes. Then carefully flip and cook on other side for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

– In the last 10 minutes of cooking the lentils, add the frozen veggies, stir, and cover. Drain off any extra vegetable stock. Adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt and pepper to taste.

– Transfer the lentil mixture to a 9-inch square baking dish and top with Portobello mushrooms, then mashed sweet potatoes. Smooth down with a spoon or fork and season with another pinch of pepper and sea salt.

– Set on a baking sheet to catch any overflow, and bake for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly browned on top and the edges are bubbling.

Nutrition Facts per Serving: 287 Calories, 7g Total Fat, 45g Carbohydrates, 8g Fiber, 12g Protein, 225 mg Sodium

Photo Courtesy of: Susan Juray